Brackins Looking To Get Bigger

Iowa State forward Craig Brackins had a very solid freshman year but he also learned some tough lessons.

"My freshman year really taught me to be patient because in the Big 12 there is things you can do and things you can't do," said Brackins. "Some stuff that I was easily able to get away with in high school became a lot harder last year."

Even though Brackins is becoming one of the main focal points for the upcoming season, he feels there will less pressure on him during the 2008-09 season. "I don't feel any added pressure," he said. "As a freshman when I was starting almost every game that's when I was feeling the pressure. Now that I have experienced everything I can just go out and play next year."

One of the main things Brackins is working on this summer is getting bigger. "I feel I'm getting a lot stronger but I keep struggling with my weight which is between 227 and 230 pretty much every day."

Craig is also excited about the new help that he will be getting up front next year. "Jamie (Vanderbeken) is just a phenomenal shooter who will really open the floor for me and the other inside players," said Brackins. "L.A. (Pomlee) is an explosive shot-blocker and rebounder and Justin (Hamilton) is the guy who I didn't even recognize when he showed up recently. I was looking around and then I realized he looked like a different person as he has gotten a lot stronger and added more weight. He just gets better every day."

Brackins also can't wait to finally get to play with Lucca Staiger. "Lucca is going to help us with his shooting but I don't think people realize that he has great vision and is an outstanding passer," he said. "I have all the faith in the world in Lucca."

Brackins has very basic goals for next season. "I want to stay in the top half of the Big 12 North and to make a push for the NCAA Tournament." He feels the Cyclones have something special that can help with reaching that goal. "This summer we have really come together," he said. "As a team, we really click and have an unbelievable chemistry."

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